I'm in the middle of designing a desk that will have to support several hundred lbs., but I'm unsure of what would be the simplest method of bracing to carry a significant amount of weight. All my research has dug up are fancy desks that promote form over function, and tend to be on the small side, like a writing desk. What I'm envisioning is a strong worktable-type unit that is low enough to sit at, about 8-10 feet long with no drawers or shelves. While I'm confident in my plans, what worries me is that I'll design it to be too weak. What is a simple, cost-effective way to design such a brace?

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    This question does not have a "correct" answer, and is completely based on your preferences. It is not a good fit for this Q&A style site. – Tester101 Apr 18 '13 at 11:18

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I think this is what you described.

  • This seems pretty close, just without the lower shelf...but wouldn't it be inherently unstable without being bolted to something like the floor or wall, or placing some triangular brace between the legs and tabletop? – BuiltForFun Apr 17 '13 at 0:36
  • Mine is like this without the bottom shelf or the middle leg. I used 2x8 around the top outside instead of 2x4s. Mine has a 2x4 leg at the four corners and a single horizontal 2x4 to tie the end legs to each other about 4 inches off the ground. Mine can probably hold 800 lbs or more and it is not unstable and free-standing. The taller you build it the more unstable it will be due to center of gravity. Nothing wrong with putting two screws through it to secure it to the studs in a wall. – TugboatCaptain Apr 17 '13 at 3:50

Not to get really in depth because your tastes are your tastes but if you are looking for a lot of weight and performance I would make the legs out of 4x4s and the top/bottom trim out of 2x6's, attaching the 4x4s to the 2x6s with 2 lag bolts in each post - corners would have 4 bolts - 2 on each side.

Edit: There should be the sets of lag bolts (so 4 for corners) on both the top and bottom of the leg. If we look at the picture in the other answer they have 6 legs - 4 are corners. There would be a total of 40 lag bolts in that. I have built tables like this when I need them to be free standing. Nice thing about this too is that you can take it apart and move it if needed. Think IKEA but sturdier materials.

  • Well I've gotten that far, I'm really looking more for ideas on bracing the whole structure. Ideally, no wobble, no sagging (which of course largely depends on the material usd), no shaking. – BuiltForFun Apr 17 '13 at 0:39
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    You have shaking with a set of lag bolts on top and bottom of each leg? – Tom Apr 17 '13 at 2:24
  • So you have 4x4 legs double lagged on top and bottom to 2x6s? And lagged on each side of each corner? If all of this is true you could probably set a couple thousand let alone hundred pounds on top of it. If you have done all of this and it is wobbly you need to tighten the bolts. If bolts are tight then you must be really out of square. – DMoore Apr 17 '13 at 3:18
  • Sorry, I just meant I'd gotten that far in my thinking. I haven't started building it yet. – BuiltForFun May 9 '13 at 15:34

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